By Abigail Frazier, Staff Writer –
During the Fall 2018 semester, some general and reserved parking lots will be flipped, another general lot will be added at Engle Stadium, a few other parking changes will take place as well.
According to Assistant Director for Parking Services David Seidel, upcoming permit online sales will begin May 14th at nine in the morning.
“If you are wanting to get a general or specific reserved spot, definitely jump in there and if it is available, I would recommend purchasing it then,” said Seidel in encouraging students for the upcoming May permit purchasing time.
“We will be adding a lot more general parking to general parking capacity and this will be done through converting a few reserved lots into general lots and we will be sending out a map a little bit later in about a couple of weeks with all the changes so everyone can be ready for when we start selling out permits,” said Seidel.
The new improved lot at Engle Stadium will be under construction this summer. “ It is going to add about 450 new general spaces that weren’t available previously,” Seidel explained.
With this new lot at Engle Stadium added, Lot 7 and Lot 11 will be unavailable to students.
“Lot 11, which is a reserved lot underneath Lupton Library, is going to be closed for an undetermined amount of time, but at least for the next academic year, because they are doing renovations for the Lupton Library,” said Seidel.
Seidel also explained the change to the other lot. “Lot 7, which is in front of Maclellan Gym, is going to be converted to a visitor slash event type lot.”
A few more changes will be made throughout this year. Some of the changes are a fall and spring combined permit, no more waitlists for permits, leveling of permit prices and the elimination of student permit renewals.
“We are going to be adding a fall spring general permit. Currently we only have an annual general permit and most people aren’t here during the summer. To make things a little more efficient, we will still have the annual permit, but we will be also adding a fall spring general permit,” said Seidel.
With adding the fall spring permit, students have more freedom to return the permit and still get a partial refund. “If you have a multi semester permit, like a fall spring permit, after the second week of the fall semester, you can still get a refund for the unused portion of that permit which would be like the spring portion of that permit,” explained Seidel.
In regards to the waitlist, “We want people to have an opportunity to get from general to reserved if they want and not just switching from one reserved to another so we are doing away with a waitlist. If a permit is returned, it’ll be available pretty immediately for online purchase so there’s no waiting and hoping if the waitlist is going to be effective,” Seidel said.
According to Associate Vice Chancellor for Budget and Finance Tyler Forrest, one of the many big changes for the fall will be the leveling of permit prices.
“Right now, we value parking spaces at different rates. Leveling the permit prices makes every space the same when we go to flip a lot or add more general parking. This way we are not losing revenue in the parking system,” stated Forrest.
With the annual parking budget of one point seven million dollars, one million will be invested in the extra four hundred and fifty spots going to Engle Stadium.
“Since we are investing right around one million dollars in that lot, it is going to become the nicest lot on campus, so we need to charge a value price for it,” said Forrest.
Another one of the big changes in parking this fall will be the elimination of student decal renewals.
“What will happen now is sometime in early to mid May there will be an enrollment period where every student can go on the parking system and choose the decal they want to avoid a renewal of a permit decal that they no longer wish to have,” said Forrest.
With all of these changes coming up next semester due to the hard work from the Auxiliary team and the Budgeting and Financing team at UTC, students will hopefully spend less time hunting for spaces.
According to Seidel, “The main goal is just to continually improve. We are always asking for feedback from the community and we are always looking for ways that we can make parking at UTC better.”